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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    January 11, 2013
    1:00 - 4:00pm PST  

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timberlake's website shows him walking into a studio saying today, prince williams wife got to see the and at the national portrait gallery in london. you can check it out yourself. the duchess, she saw it with her own eyes. she described it as amazing. the prince is said to be thrilled but reaction elsewhere has been mixed, especially on social media. many, many people on twitter saying the painting ages the duchess. let's take a look at it. ages the duchess beyond her years. 31 years old. let's take a quick at the big board. you can see the dow is up a
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little bit on this friday. i hope you all have a wonderful weekend. thanks for being with me. i'm brooke baldwin. now we take you to washington. wolf blitzer. "the situation room." brooke, thanks very much. new plans for ending the war in afghanistan. president obama meets with the afghan president hamid karzai. the white house looks at the connection between video game and gun violence as battle lines form in the looming fight over gun control. and a new report on the flu. we now have a clearer picture of where this epidemic stands. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." it's the longest war in u.s. history and now we're learninging new details about
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how president obama intends to end it for the united states. after meeting with hamid karzai at the white house, the president said the u.s. will probably be able to speed up, to accelerate plan troop withdraws. some americans will remain, presumably, their role, though, potentially becoming clearer. our white house correspondent brianna keilar is joining us. breakdown for us what came out of this meeting. >> reporter: wolf approximate, the main headline is afghan forces taking over control from u.s. forces and that was from president obama and president karzai, that is set to take place in the spring which is a slight acceleration. the other thing we heard from president karzai was that he's open to giving immunity to u.s. troops who may remain beyond 2014. that's immunity from afghan courts as well as their laws and that was a key demand of president obama's for having troop remain. president karzai said that the
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u.s. will hand over control to afghan prisoners to afghan officials and that was a key demand of karzai's for having troops remain. really the big headline is acceleration of troops taking the lead on security and president obama was asked about that. >> we are able to meet those goals and accelerate them somewhat so let me repeat, what's going to happen this spring is that afghans will be in the lead throughout the country. that doesn't mean u.s. forces are no longer fighting. they will be fighting along afghan troops. it does mean, though, that afghans will have taken the lead and our presence, the nature of our work will be different. we will be in a training, assisting, advising role. >> and brianna, it seems to be a
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sign, based on what we have heard from the u.s. president, that the u.s. will be able to pursue an aggressive drawdown on those troops this year and next year and we are seeing many signs and a statement come out from president obama and president karzai talking about how afghan security forces have exceeded initial expectations, that they have made progress. and also, as you know, with president obama appointing or picking former senator chuck hagel to be his next secretary of the defense, it's widely speculated that a more aggressive drawdown is something that hagel may favor as well. but it's sort of unclear, wolf, what it means for the final number of u.s. troops that will remain in afghanistan. we know that white house officials are talking about somewhere between 0 and 9,000 troops but one of the things that was really interesting,
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listening to this press conference today. >> we didn't hear the presidents talk about there being no u.s. troops. in fact, the finding of common ground on immunity for u.s. troops and afghan soldiers and who will be in control of overseeing them seem to indicate that they have found some common ground on key sticking points and the take away there is likely there are going to be u.s. troops in afghanistan beyond 2014. >> the only thing they have to work out is how many. it looks like you're right. thanks very much, brianna, for that. the date is now set for president obama's state of the union address. following tradition, the house speaker sent a letter to the president today formally inviting him to address both areas of congress on february 12th. vice president joe biden and members of his gun violence task force sat down with representatives of the video game industry this afternoon.
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the vice president promised that by next tuesday he will get president obama a set of proposals to try to cut down on gun violence in the united states and prevent mass shootings like the ones in colorado and connecticut. while those incidents certainly caused national outrage, there's concern that the white house still doesn't have enough political clout or public momentum to push big, major changes on guns through congress. let's bring in our national political correspondent jim acosta as he's walking into "the situation room." what are you learning? >> wolf, the it's clear the proposals from the task force will be running head on into the nra. >> we know that it is -- there is no silver bullet. >> with vice president biden's task force the focus is starting
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to turn to what, if anything, can get passed with a congress in gridlock. but republican senator chuck grassley sounded positive about restricting high powered gun magazines and requiring background checks. >> i think we have to do things to make sure the database of the fbi has all of the information so people can't buy guns that shouldn't have guns. >> the vice president laid out some of the ideas emerging from his task force on thursday but did not mention a new assault weapons ban stirring speculation that the white house is dropping the proposal but the white house says that's not so. an administration spokesman told cnn avoiding this issue because it's been politically difficult in the past is not an option. that's despite what will be fierce opposition from the nation's top gun lobby, the national rifle association. >> i do not think there's going to be a ban on assault weapons
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passed by the congress. >> the nra plans an aggressive campaign and can point to what happened in 1994 when president bill clinton signed the last assault weapons ban into law. democrats lost both houses of congress to republicans. >> these become the only republican candidate in indiana with an f rating from the nra. >> last year the nra proved it was willing to go after the gop as well, running this ad against dick lugar. the white house appears to be prepared for the fight to come. after biden spent days meeting with interest groups, the latest being video game makers, the vice president doesn't seem to be in the mood to take on the entertainment industry. >> are democrats as nervous about the nra as they used to be? >> no, they are not. >> chris van hollen says they are eager for new gun control laws after newtown. >> if you look at the contested races across the country, they
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are in the suburbs and i think it's on the side of commonsense gun safety pro vig visions. >> but democrats say it's up to the president to make that case. that's why they expect president obama to put a heavy emphasis on gun control in his state of the union address. wolf? >> it's going to be a big speech. the vice president will make the recommend takings to the president on tuesday, that doesn't necessarily mean we're going to learn what those are. we may have to wait for the state of the union address? >> that's right. but i think we're starting to find out what the key provisions of this task proposal will be, the high capacity magazines and an assault weapons ban. there will be issues to address like mental health and a look at the entertainment industry but really all of these proposals seem to be going after tightening down on the restrictions on gun buying and on the kinds of weapons and ammunition you can have. at the same time, chris van hollen mentioned to me, they
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have a lot on their plate with the budget and everything else. so squeezing this in is going to take a big, big push from the white house. >> a major amount of political capital as well. jim acosta, thanks very much. a recent cnn orc poll shows a strong majority of americans favor a ban on is semiautomatic assault weapons. 62% compared to 37% who opposed. let's dig deeper with our chief political analyst gloria borger. there are significant political risks for the obama administration, for the democrats in this gunfight. >> there are a lot of political risks. if gun control was easy, they would have done it a while ago. the assault weapons ban has not been renewed for eight years, wolf. it's been sitting out there. and i think in my conversations with administration officials, what they are going to come up with and that sort of echos what jim was saying, they are going to come up with what someone describes to me as a menu of options. the menu of options will include
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a ban on assault weapons and also include closing the gun show loophole, limiting purchases of the high-capacity magazines. so they are going to put those options out there he a there is attention inside the democratic party. do you make a huge push on assault weapons and hurt yourself on the other list or do you kind of ease up on assault weapons and maybe go after the magazine clips, which some people believe would be more effective. don't forget, there's a lot of history here and joe biden was the person managing the 1994 crime bill, which included the ban on assault weapons. he remembers what happened to democrats after they got past and lost control of the house. >> where could there be some consensus on this issue? >> again, in talking to administration officials about this, who have been involved in some of these sessions, one
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source said to me that it would be on the background issue. there seems to be a consensus developing that you can close that gun show loophole, require background checks. and the other area is on these high-capacity magazines. if you could limit those high-capacity magazines, then perhaps that would be another way of going at the assault weapons ban without allowing folks to say, you know what, you're taking away my guns because you wouldn't be taking away their guns. you would be just limiting those high-capacity rounds. >> you don't only need to develop a consensus with the republicans, but amongst the democrats you need a consensus because there are serious splits even among democrats. >> and here's the issue. the polling you just showed earlier, you know, shows that a majority of the american public wants a ban on assault weapons. two-thirds of the american public want some sort of gun control. but the overall polls don't really matter as much as the state by state polls and the
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question of intensity. there you see it. and so i think what you look at if you're a democrat, you're a member of congress, for example, senators up from the states of montana, louisiana, south dakota, all democrats, gun control a very big issue there. a lot of gun owners. so what they are trying to measure is intensity of voters who come out in midterm elections because midterm elections, unlike presidential elections, you tend to get people from the far right and the far left who come out and vote. and so these democrats have to decide whether those gun owners would be with them on a certain number of issues so they could still get re-elected and still do some kind of gun control, wolf. >> and remember the price they paid for this during the clinton administration. >> right. they do want to do gun control but they have to find out what is realistic and what's not and that assault weapons ban is right there smack in the middle
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of everything. >> thanks very much, gloria. more than half a million people are fleeing syria's civil war and now winter is compounding the misery for many refugees. plus, details from this spectacular winter phenomena. impact life expectancy in the u.s., real estate in hong kong, and the optics industry in germany? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy. it's just one reason over 75% of our mutual funds beat their 10-year lipper average. t. rowe price. invest with confidence. request a prospectus or summary prospectus with investment information, risks, fees and expenses to read and consider carefully before investing. with investment information, risks, fees and expenses excuse me, sir i'm gonna have to ask you to
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so if you're one of them people who gets heartburn and then treats day after day... block the acid with prilosec otc and don't get heartburn in the first place! [ male announcer ] one pill each morning. 24 hours. zero heartburn. syrian opposition groups report at least 80 people killed in syrian war. the number of refugees fleeing the war has topped 612,000, about a third of them have fled to neighboring lebanon where winter is only compounding the crisis. here is cnn's nick paton walsh with more. >> reporter: we're about an hour
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away from the syrian border but in the last three days 20 centimeters of snow and freezing temperatures have swept in. doctors say that 20 children have taken ill as this town absorbs quite so many refugees now has to deal with a bitter winter. it's nearly syria but hardly life. enveloped in snow, the border town grimes with refugees, all cold and many young. this man particlized, shot near homms, now surrounded by the children he can't provide for. no one helps us here, he says. no one helps us but god. in this tiny space for nine, the children are literally climbing the walls. his brother, probably a rebel, doesn't want his face shown. he needs medication for kidney
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stones. powerless where they now call home. squirrelled away in houses like this are 15,000 refugees and it's causing the population here alone to rise by about 40%. this is rebel-friendly territory so they are okay here even in the harshest of winter and nearly 200,000 syrian refugees goes on across the country. the greater the risk, the sectarian balance lebanon has struggled with for decades. others survive in ruins, dark spaces haunted by a father dead, a son arrested last summer. left to fend for themselves, knowing worse is behind them. >> translator: i left with the tanks and the rockets and planes
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overhead, she says, we went over the mountain in the night with the kids walking. the water leaks in and explains last night they were almost robbed for the third time. even though nothing, something to someone here. this fragile, tiny country wondering how a new generation of anger will express itself. one side-effect of this snow is making it impossible for refugees to come into this valley over the last few days. they will leave this town to deal with the consequences of this harsh winter but, again, a steady flow of what was in the past, hundreds of refugees every day. nick paton walsh, cnn, lebanon. after a week of dramatic testimony about the colorado shootings, there's another delay in moving towards a trial. lisa sylvester is monitoring that. lisa, what's going on?
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>> wolf, james holmes was scheduled to be arraigned and possibly enter a plea today but a judge put everything off until the week of march 12th. holmes' attorneys want time to go over the 30,000 papers filed in the case. he's facing counts of murder and attempted murder and some shouted from the courtroom, rot in hell, holmes. and in making the announcement today, transportation secretary ray lahood emphasized they believe the plane is safe during our next hour we will have a closer look at the dreamliner's recent string of problems. and finally, check out these incredible pictures from australia. you are looking at the red light of a sunset reflecting off a dust storm that formed under a thunderstorm. the dust has been picked up by a weather system that moved offshore over the indian ocean and dropped out of the
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developing thunderclouds. it's great that the photographer was able to capture those images. >> i love those pictures. >> not something you see every day. >> not every year either. thank you for that, lisa. just back from a controversial visit to north korea, bill richardson will tell me what he saw and learned in the world's most isolated country. and how one school is now fighting back against the flu. you can prevent gas with beano meltaways,
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eating less is a beautiful thing. out from the centers for disease control and prevention. the number of states reporting high levels of flu activity has fallen by five and the reporting widespread activity increased from 41 to 47. our chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta is joining us right now. what does this report tell us, if anything, about the remainder of the flu season? >> it's kind of what we expected, wolf. we're about sort of midway through what we expect this flu season to last. usually 10 weeks and we're about 6 weeks into it.
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you know, i could tell you when you look at these sort of statistics, it's just one point in time before you can really tell if things are truly dropping off. it takes a few weeks of data to really look at that to see if you have a trend. as you said, 47 states with widespread activity. california, hawaii, and mississippi are the only ones that haven't yet reported widespread activity but they probably will. five states went down in terms of the level of activity but four states also went up. it's a bit of a wash, wolf. we know the flu season started earlier. it's likely to end a little bit earlier as a result but we just have to collect some more data over the next couple of weeks, wolf. >> and that's what we'll do. we keep hearing that everyone still needs to get a flu shot, that it's not too late. but we're also hearing potentially about shortages. here's the question. is there enough vaccine to go around? >> yes, i believe so. but there's a micro way of
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looking at this and a macro. you have a certain amount of vaccine that is made and then you've got to sort of predict where it's going to be needed and how to distribute it around the country. a lot of this is based on utilization, flu vaccines in years passed past. 128 million doses distributed and 112 million vaccinated. those are actually pretty good numbers in terms of those that have been vaccinated. if you do the math, 16 million doses are in pharmacies across the country. another seven million ready to go and there's a few hundred thousand doses of the flu mist in pharmacies as well. that expires at the end of next month. that's something that can be utilized if people are having a hard time finding the shots.
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sg. >> if they can't find a flu shot, what can they do to help preventing getting the flu? >> there's two components to this answer. one, if you -- almost sounds silly and simple to say this, but just washing your hands as frequently as possible really mak mak makes a difference. this germ can live in the air but it can also live on surfaces for eight hours, almost an entire workday. so if you get it on your hands and inadvertently touch your hands to your nose or mouth, that's how people get sick. we touch our nose and mouth several times a day without even thinking about it. the other part is, if people are sick and i've been telling people in this building, wolf, they have to stay home. not just for themselves but for everyone around them. staving off the spread is the biggest goal here. if you are at home, one little tid bit and you're taking medications for fever and cold symptoms, acetaminophen is an
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ingredient. make sure you don't double up on the medication. keep tabs on that. other than that, your mother's advice, my mother's advice is what is going to apply here. get plenty of rest and fluids. >> what about chicken soup? >> chicken soup can help. my mom told me that as well. >> my mom used to say to my dad, it might not help but it won't hurt. thanks for that, dr. sanjay gupta. children are especially prone to the flu. what one school is doing to try to protect its students. brian? >> reporter: wolf, we all know that schools are some of the most transmission sites for the flu. how can you stave it off? we came here in upper marlboro, maryland, a typical battleground against the illness. >> cynthia morris knows with
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this small group of kids, it's the visual that counts. she spreads glitter on her hands. >> i'm going to put my hands in it. that's the germs that we can't see. if i touch you, this glitter being the germs is what i would pass on to you and you can potentially get sick. now, my phone rings, i pick up the phone, now after i put it down, look at that. what does that represent? >> germs. >> germs. >> reporter: as a registered nurse in upper marlboro, maryland, morris is like a field commander against the flu. her other tactics, coloring sheets with pledges to sign, demos on hand washing, sanitizer dispensers all over the place. what do you think, does this help you? >> yes, because when you clean your hands you make sure it's clean and don't get a lost
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germs. >> reporter: do you find a lot of this hard to remember to try to prevent the flu? >> no. >> reporter: neilsville, wisconsin, has been the hardest hit. one out of every five students there has had to stay home recently with flu-like symptoms. >> we are working hard to try to find kids that have symptoms and are having our nurse check those kids out and sending them home if need be. >> reporter: the most common way that flus spread in schools, kids touching each other, sharing of food and other items and just close proximity to others. but mistakes are made by parents, too. do a lot of parent who may have a kid on the borderline, do they err on the side of sending them to school too many times? >> they do. and sometimes the kids say, i told my mama i wasn't feeling good and, you'll be okay. so a lot of time they are just
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not keeping them home that 24-hour period after they have a fever. >> reporter: a mistake also made by teachers that don't stay home when they are sick. as bad as this outbreak has been in some school districts across the united states, including this one, health officials say they may have caught a break. just before the schools broke for the holidays, they noticed more widespread flu-like symptoms and since the kids have come back from vacation, in some cases, including here, they've noticed different flu-like symptoms. at least the holidays may have given them a break and kept the flu from spreading. wolf? >> brian todd on the scene for us. much more coming up later. the centers for disease control and the very latest on what is going on. we're about to take a closer look at the emerging strategies for the fight over president obama's proposals to prevent gun violence. stand by. move the way she wants.
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classes were canceled today at a california high school where a student with a shotgun critically wounded another student yesterday. authorities say things could have been much worse. the student with the gun had pockets filled with ammunition but a well-liked science teacher confronted him face-to-face and talked him into putting down the gun. teachers are being praised for helping other kids escape. he is 16 years old and he's in custody. let's discuss what is going on in our strategy session. joining us, a pair of cnn contributors, paul begala and
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erick erickson from redstate.com. here in "the situation room" yesterday, i asked him if the president signs executive orders to restrict guns in some way or background checks, listen to what david keen said. >> some things you can do by executive orders and some things you can't do by executive orders and some things need money to be implemented need monand that's to congress. >> does he have a point that if congress wants to defund that executive order, it's not going to happen? >> well, as a matter of governmental operations, sure. as a matter of politics, david
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keene is a smart guy and i actually like him as a person. he's on the wrong side of even as his own members. as you know, as erick knows, i'm a hunter, i'm a gun owner. i'm not in the nra because don't think they represent my fellow gun owners very well. the vast majority and nra members even, they were surveyed last year, the vast majority of them support a background check so everyone has to pass through a background check. he's just at a step here, wolf. i think mr. keene is not leading his organization in the right direction and it's not helpful for the country. if the president can bypass congress using his constitutional authority, they ought to like article 2 which gives the president constitutional authority. >> what do you think, erick? >> david is right. congress can defund certain
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things. will they be willing to shut down the government and die on this hill on principle? probably not. so dave's got that working against him. there are some things the president probably can do as an executive order. but historically looking at it, he would have to base it on existing legislation and that doesn't give him a lot of wriggle room to deal with this without congress. >> here's what david keene said. a representative of the nra was invited to meet with the vice president over at the white house in that task force and i asked david keene, if that was a serious meeting or if the nra participation was nearly a problem. listen to what he said. >>. >> in a sense, they were checking a box. they were able to say, we've met with the nra, we've met with the people that are strong second amendment supporters. that doesn't mean that there isn't an agreement for
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agreement. >> the only thing he suggested, perhaps on dealing with people who might have some mental problems, he didn't see any room for negotiation in terms of assault weapons bans or ammunition clips or anything along those lines, paul. >> really a shame. this is where mr. keene is out of step with most gun owners. in 1968 -- i know it was a million years ago but when senator kennedy was assassinated, laws were passed in the wake of kennedy's assassination. the nra has not always opposed everything. they certainly opposed president clinton, and opposed us on banning assault weapons and opposed us on banning multiround, 30-round ammunition clips but we won.
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i hope the president can win. the nra is very powerful. >> here's what you wrote on your blog, erick and i'm going to put it up on the screen. until we figure out how to fix the family instability and educational problems within the inner city, any solution proposed in washington will be a potemkin village solution mask being the real gun conversation we should be having. >> what is that real gun conversation we should be having? >> if you took away the gun violence in the inner city, largely this nation would not have serious gun problems or violence. we would always have acts of violence. they won on the the assaults weapons ban. the violence prevention center did little good. there's much more handgun violence in this country than there is anything else. kni knives, feet, and hammers kill more people than assault rifles but it's the sensationalized
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crimes because of the number of people who typically die. until we're ready to have a conversation about the breakdown in inner cities and poverty and education, we're going to continue to have gun violence. no one suck tag about coming after the gun violence. that's have the violence is. >> erick's right. i don't know where these guys get these hammer talking points. i don't know anyone that kills people with hammer. i don't know. maybe someone is invading the hardware store. >> it's a department of justice statistic. >> they are not happening in large numbers. this monster in newtown, a monster in aurora, colorado, who murdered all of these people, had these multiround clips. that's not for target shooting. >> columbine. >> or for hunting. >> a brick is not a wall. we have to look at this. keep a list of people who are
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mentally ill. we need to actually treat them. i'm for being looking at the culture, erick. i hate these first person point and shoot video games. they are training our children to kill. i think we look at the whole thing. but the notion that we exempt a 30-round clip that is only useful for murdering people in mass numbers, if that's the only thing we did was ban those clips, then these animals would have to reload after three to five rounds, not after 30 and the amount of mass killings. when gabby giffords was killed, he was wrestled to the ground. that alone would do a lot on these mass killings, don't you think? >> i actually don't think it would do a lot of good. look at columbine and others. the assault weapons ban in the '90s really didn't prevent things like columbine. there's a feeling and a sense that we need to do just something. the problem is, most of the solution that we propose, including expanding finds, the perimeter of gun-free zones,
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they make us feel like we're doing something but we're always going to have these horrible random acts of violence. >> cain killed abel with a rock. >> okay, guys. >> i was invited -- it was a great honor. i was able to speak at the national war college, with my friend kevin madden who worked for governor romney. we had a discussion about some of the finest officers and civilians at the national war college and it was a great honor. so i wanted to publicly thank them. >> they gave you a coin, huh? >> they did. >> is that the new trillion dollar coin? not really? >> it's more than that. it's warriors statesman and leaders. great honor. >> congratulations to you and to our friend kevin as well. erick, one day if you work hard, play by the rules, you, too might be coined at the national war college just like paul.
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thanks very much, guys, for joining us. continuing the new trend, president obama's about to award the medal of honor to another living hero of the afghan war. his story is coming up. along with a new image of the duchess. have to wait for i! who do you think i am, quicken loans? ♪ at quicken loans, we won't make you wait for it. our efficient, online system allows us to get you through your home loan process fast. which means you'll never have to beg for a quick closing. one more way quicken loans is engineered to amaze. bonkers, look at me when i'm talking to you.
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a hero of one of the most deadliest fire fights will receive a medal of honor next month. lisa sylvester is here and monitoring other stories. tell us all about it. >> retired staff sergeant clinton romesha at one point took out an enemy machine gun team and while engaging a second he was hit by shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade and kept fighting. he will be the fourth living of recipient in iraq or afghanistan. and democratic u.s. senator jay rockefeller announced he will not run for re-election in 2014. he was first elected to the senate back in 1984 and served as the state's governor before that. and the district of columbia
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police just announced they won't bring any charges against nbc or david gregory because he displayed a magazine capable of holding up to 30 rounds of ammunition on "meet the press." those high-capacity gun clips are illegal in d.c. police say it was a very close decision but since gregoriy has no criminal record, he won't be charged. and finally, you are looking at the first official portrait of catherine, the duchess of cambridge. she and her husband are pleased with the display. our critics, on the other hand, are complaining that it makes her look old beyond her years. we're going to take a look at that photo. we can judge for ourselves and see what people think. she's a very beautiful women either way. >> she's beautiful but that picture is not that flattering, i've got to tell you. she looks so much older in that
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picture than she actually is. >> if you see the head on shot of it, there you go. she's a very beautiful woman. >> she's beautiful but the picture -- >> doesn't quite capture it. innocent people wrongly convicted possibly because of this man's testimony. a medical examiner now under scrutiny. he's speaking out for the first time. what are you doing? nothing. are you stealing our daughter's school supplies and taking them to work? no, i was just looking for my stapler and my... this thing. i save money by using fedex ground and buy my own supplies. that's a great idea. i'm going to go... we got clients in today. [ male announcer ] save on ground shipping at fedex office. woman: we're helping joplin, missouri, come back from a devastating tornado. man: and now we're helping the east coast recover from hurricane sandy.
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prisoners, including death row prisoners could be set free because of a doctor's workload and tactics is the focus of a major investigation. cnn's victor blackwell has been looking into this very disturbing story. >> if you died in mississippi of any sort of suspicious circumstances, chances are dr. hand was going to be cutting you open. >> that's a former public defender talking about dr. steven han, a pathologist who has done tens and thousands of autopsies. >> how many would you say from the late '80s until probably a few years ago. >> somewhere in the range of
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1400, 1500 nrk that range, maybe 1600. >> that's five to six times what's recommended by the national association of medical examiners. for the first time on television, han is responding to claims that an oversized workload and questionable tactics may have led to the convictions of innocent people. there's seldom been a state medical exercise. counties relied on state approved pathologists to conduct autopsies and han is one of them although he's never been certified by the board as a forensic pathologist. >> he was a prosecutor's best friend. they would go there with their investigation complete, tell him what they suspected and probably 95 out of 100 they would get the result they were looking for. >> i'm not a friend of law enforcement. if a crime has been committed, i don't support a d.a. if he wants
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to charge a person with a crime that i don't think a crime was commit sdpld one high-profile case the critics cite is that of tyler edmonds. the 13-year-old boy confessed of pulling a trigger of a gun with his older sister to kill her husband. he was tried as an adult and hayne testified as an expert witness for the state. edmonds was sentenced to life in prison. three years later the conviction was overturned and edmonds is now a free man. then supreme court justice wrote a skating opinion. >> i saw that dr. hayne testified that he could tell by the bullet wounds on the victim that there were two hands on the trigger that fired the shot that killed the victim. and i said, that just doesn't make sense. >> all i could say was, i favored two people involved in shooting, i couldn't exclude only one person did the shot. it was not a defen tif statement. >> in 2008, hayne was removed
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from the list of approved pathologists. recently the mississippi innocence project has hassed the supreme court to review four cases in which hayne was a pathologist and expects to file ten additional requests, some of them death penalty cases. >> we're going to have to go back and examine just about every case that he had any contact with and we're in the process of doing that, thankfully, here in mississippi now. >> ballpark, how many cases? >> thousands. thousands. >> hayne sued attorneys for defamation, libel, and slander, a case that led to an out of court monetary settlement. but information was used in the petition seeking reviews of other mississippi murder cases. when asked tough questions about his tens and thousands of autopsies, hayne has a simple answer. >> i don't think there are errors in my work. >> and we reached out to mississippi's attorney general jim hood and his people sent us
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this statement. our office would not say this is or has ever been a matter of defending dr. hayne. if fraudulent testimony is found to have been given, either by a witness for the state or for the defense in any criminal case, this office will investigate and prosecute if warranted. our office has the singular responsibility to not only ensure that the guilty are punished, but that the innocent are set free. as for improving the process regarding medical examiners, this office formed a task force that recommended a complete revamping of the system and full dna testing. and there is now a state medical examiner in mississippi. wolf? >> keep us up to speed. victor, thanks very much. very solid reporting. frustrated but determined, a town nearly wiped out by hurricane sandy has a bold plan to rebuild.
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call now to request your free decision guide. this easy-to-understand guide will answer some of your questions, and help you find the aarp medicare supplement plan that's right for you. tens of thousands of new jersey families are still displayed almost three months after superstorm sandy. poppy harlow found some are trying to rebuild on stilts. >> reporter: hi there, wolf. this is seabright, new jersey, but sandy completely wiped out
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100% of the businesses here and 75% of the homes were either destroyed or severely damaged. >> it's devastated us, to be honest with you. we don't live here anymore. we don't operate a business here anymore. >> reporter: both his business and home destroyed. that's what superstorm sandy took from scott kelly and many folks here in seabright. >> this is the area where most of the damage came through. the water was probably about three feet inside the house. >> reporter: ocean avenue still shuttered months after the storm. this is how vulnerable seabright is, sandwiched between ocean and river. >> this is my street. >> reporter: and this is the woman fighting to rebuild. deena long. don't let the pink sneakers fool you. the mayor is as tough as they come. >> i have reached a point where i am like governor chris christie.
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i am ready to kick butt and take names. >> reporter: she, too, is one of the displaced. her home ravaged by sandy. her plan is gutsy. >> you want to elevate all of downtown sea bright? >> i do. >> reporter: that is built to last. >> reporter: the houses would look like this one which cost $250,000 to raise. she wants fema to raise. not elevating is nonnegotiable. >> knock down and rebuild on top of pilings about 15 feet high. >> reporter: 15 feet high? >> if i stay where i am, my flood insurance could go up 600%. >> reporter: we're waiting for the help that's been promised to show up. >> who are you asking? >> i've been asking the state of new jersey, fema, and we are waiting. >> reporter: so far they have there are no state funds as of yet and how federal relief dollars will be allocated is
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unclear. >> very often the answer i get is this, meaning, ask him, ask him had. this department knows, call the federal government, call the county government. >> as a state, we have waited 72 days, seven times longer than the victims of hurricane katrina waited. >> reporter: scott kelly is more than a million in the hole between his home and his restaurant but he's not banking on federal aid. >> we opened a business with insurance policies. we had our home with insurance policies but in case anything happened like this we would be covered and in the long run, you are not. they are going to argue and it's a game and you're going to play the game and that's the part that hurts the most. >> reporter: he and mayor long are tired of people wondering if see bright should rebuild. >> it's possible to rebuild smart. it's possible to build hurricane-proof. look at florida. >> reporter: just last week, congress approved $9.7 billion in federal sandy aid after partisan bickering delayed the vote. next week, congress will take up
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a measure for $51 billion in additional sandy aid but we may see more political in-fighting while towns like sea bright wait. wolf? >> poppy, thanks. you're in "the situation room." happening now, as the flu spreads misery across the country, why are some people deliberately avoiding the best defense? federal officials will investigate bow's new 787 dreamliner. is it safe to fly? and diplomatic trouble shooter to north korea. i'll ask him what he learned, what he accomplished. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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it's nasty and can be deadly and most of the united states is in the drift of a flu outbreak. the number of states reporting widespread activity is now up to 47 and that is half now reportg the flu activity. some places have been hit hard. massachusetts has been dealing with vaccine shortages. a 12-year-old died from complications of the flu. she was one of the hundreds hospitalized during the first week of january. so the flu has been spreading but intensity and dr. sanjay
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gupta, it seems to be get ming better in some places, worse in others. what do we take away from the brand new cdc numbers? >> you certainly can infer down in terms of the activity of five states and flu around the country, what's interesting is, if you have this one point p, reflection and truly on the downward slope. what you can see, if you look at the flu seasons of past, there's a 12-week period that's the most intense and we're about halfway through that 12-week period and three states, california, hawaii, mississippi don't represent widespread activity but they might over the next couple of weeks, wolf. >> what makes the flu worse some years than others? a lot of people are asking does this have anything to do with the weather, type of virus?
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what do we know? >> it's not much to do with the weather. people think the flu comes about because of the colder weather, the fall and winter. that's probably not the case. more people stay inside. it should diminish flu. what seems to happen more is kids go back to school in the fall and winter and that probably is what insights the flu season here in the united states. this particular strain is the problem. the flu virus and it's a more potent virus. but we've seen this virus before, wolf. this isn't one of the new or unusual viruses which comes from, for example, southeast asia. it was severe before. >> if someone is sick right now, how do you know when it's serious enough to go to the
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hospital? >> luckily for most people they won't need to do that. they will need to be and sudden onset of illness, and obviously difficulty breathing if it's gone from your upper part of the respiratory tract as well as lungs, and then this bottom one, wolf, it's really important. someone who has had the flu, they think that they've beat it and feeling better and a couple days later their fever returns. that's a concern because the medical community, we'd be worried that now after the flu they've developed a bacterial infection. oftentimes those occur in the lungs and it's caused by staff low caucus. >> stand by for a moment. probably the best way to prevend the flu is to get a shot but many people want nothing to do with the flu shot.
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it's a real problem out there, lisa. >> you know, we hear the doctors say it again and again. get the flu shot. this is shaping up to be one of the worst flu seasons we've had a n a while but still people out there refuse to have a flu vaccine and we looked at some of their concerns and asked a doctor to weigh in. >> there we go. >> more. more. >> we have to save some for when you play with your friends. >> it's one of the best defenses, hand sanitizer. but when it came to getting a flu shot for her 2-year-old daughter, dana was less certain. >> for me, i'm just always nervous about putting things into our children's bodieses. they are so young and still developing but the fear of autism and if it's connected or not connected. because there's nothing definitive, it makes me nervous.
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i've really thought about trk between the odds of her having a bad reaction versus catching the flu, i felt like the flu and having her down and out and possibly risking her health or her life wasn't worth it. >> dana ended up getting a flu shot for her daughter but others we talked to said no thanks to the flu vaccine. >> busy with work and just didn't seem to affect me, i don't think. >> i'm not sure i'm confident in its ability to really protect me. >> there are concerns with the flu shot that lead not to get one. many of those reasons, actually, are baseless. first, that the flu shot can actually give u the flu. dr. greg cope is an e.r. doctor in washington. >> the virus has been broken down into other parts that have been activated and will not cause the flu. >> another common complaint is that the flu shot isn't effective.
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while it is true that scientists who developed the vaccine project which strains of the flu they think will be prevalent in any season and sometimes they can miss problem strains, on the whole, dr. cope says the flu vaccine is still worth getting. >> generally the effectiveness for all ages is approximately 60%. one of the most common concerns is that the flu vaccine preservative, a form of mercury, might be linked to autism. the issue has been looked at extensively by the medical community. a 2010 centers for disease and prevention study concluded it did not increase the asd autism spectrum disorder outcomes. even for those with concerns, you can get a flu shot that is merisal-free. >> i have another but reassurance to give reference to the vaccination. the people who should not be is
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who have true allergies and sometimes it's people who have severe egg allergies or the very young, below six months. but it's generally very, very safe. >> some people say they don't like needles and shots and that is a valid concern but it's they make the mist. it's a quick squirt up the nose and you're good to go. >> good option, indeed. let's bring back sanjay. what do you say to people who doubt the flu shot really works. >> nobody likes shots, that's for sure. i think the evidence is pretty clear. it's not a 100% protection. it's about 60% protection but that's certainly better than nothing. i think there's a larger issue here, wolf, in that the flu shot isn't just for you but it's for the people around you as well. the people who are -- if they get the flu and you subsequently infect somebody who has an under
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lying medical condition or is very elderly, you've potentially put them into a life-threatening situation. it's a public health concern, wolf. >> how young is too young? in other words, how many months old or years old should a child be before eligible to get that flu shot? >> they say around six month and it sort of raises two points. one is that pregnant women, women about to deliver in the next couple of months should get a flu shot because it will pass on some protection to their newborn baby because that baby can't get a flu shot and also i should point out, i have three young children and all of my children were vaccinated. so this is -- i look at all of these concerns that people have had and i weigh all of the evidence and i can tell you proof is in the pudding, i went ahead and had the shot for myself and my children. >> i went to the local drugstore to get mine and i showed them my health insurance card and they charged me zero. so zero dollars is pretty good
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for a flu shot which is very, very nice. sanjay, thanks very much for that. in our next hour, we'll be talking to the cdcs dr. lynn fineli who will answer questions that you asked about the flu. practical answers that you need to know. problems are starting to end up for boeing 787 dreamliner and now federal authorities are launching a thorough investigation. and i'll speak with diplomatic trouble shooter bill richardson. he's just back from north korea. he's fighting back criticism of his trip. >> we weren't used for propaganda. humans. even when we cross our t's and dot our i's, we still run into problems. namely, other humans. which is why at liberty mutual insurance, auto policies come with new car replacement and accident forgiveness if you qualify. see what else comes standard
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boeing dreamliner 787 is safe to fly. that's the word from the faa and transportation department despite a week of glitches, including two more today. cnn's renee marsh is joining us with more on what passengers need to know about this jumbo jet. what do we need to know? >> wolf, there's been a lot of talk surrounding these dreamliner jets but only 50 of them are actually flying worldwide, including six for one u.s. airline. experts believe it's the plane of the future and that's why it's captured attention and why the d.o.t. took action on friday. a week of glitches with the boeing 787 dreamliner has raised questions about safety. >> i believe this plane is safe and i would have absolutely no
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reservation of boarding one of these planes and boarding a flight. >> despite the assurances, the government is stepping in to figure out what is going on. >> we want to determine the root causes so it won't happen again. >> reporter: the faa's newly appointed administrator has assigned a panel to examine the plane's electrical systems. the problems aren't just in one area or with just one plane. monday, a battery fire in an auxiliary area and a leak because of an open val. >> japan air may not know it, but they have fuel spilling out. >> it wasn't a problem at all and then on wednesday a problem with the braking system. friday, a crack in the cockpit window and then fuel leaking from a left engine. experts say the issues raise questions about whether the faa
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has an efficient process of certifying planes. >> the review should continue with the faa looking at their own internal practices of how they certify an aircraft to ensure that they are keeping pace with the technology that boeing is building. >> the faa says they logged 2,000 hours and in the meantime boeing says these problems are not unusual. >> the performance to this point is on pair with the past commercial successful airplane i introductions. >> the soul u.s. care sole u.s. carrier will still fly in the more more than 800 jetliners will be delivered without delay. >> let's hope. let's hope they fix these problems. rene, thanks very much. and richard quest is joining
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us now. richard, how embarrassing is all of this for boeing, the manufacturer of the dreamliner? >> it is extremely embarrassing and no matter what brave face they put on their statement, today talking about safety and enshurns of safety the fact is also because come poe sit fibers, used an outsourcing mechanism. they hope to ramp up supply and phenomenal sales of the plane. it was three years late, throughout from start to finish, it has been bedeviled by these snags. so now to have a pro in the design manufacture and assembly of a crucial part is
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embarrassing. >> what would be really embarrassing, it would be very, very bad if they had to recall boeing. they had to recall all of their existing aircraft. >> well, there are 50 that have been made. 800 or so are on order. if there was any whiff of that, there would be real trouble and wiring, that wouldn't be too bad. if there was a wholesale grounding or anything like that, it would be in a different league but we're not looking at that at the moment, wolf. we're a long way from that. the other thing that is embarrassing is from the faa because of the certification process for this plane. everybody knew this was new. it was different, it was revolutionary. it would bring down the cost of
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flying and were we hard enough in the certification? nobody will be comfortable about all of this, the least of all the airplanes having to have their planes sit on the ground. >> what is the impact in terms of the cost to flying from this setback as far as the dreamliner is concerned? >> they won't. any aircraft on ground costs. any compensation will be paid by boeing, any changes that need to be taken will be paid by boeing. the price for the planes has already been set. the only people that will feel the pinch ultimately will be boeing shares. >> better to err on the side of safety. god forbid, worst case can scenario, richard, would be some sort of crash, some sort of
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disaster, fire on board, injuries, something along those lines. >> you have gone straight to the elegant in t elegant elephant that everyone is walking around. is it so serious that there's a real safety risk and the answer is no of course there are issues. they will be fixed but the faa says it's safe, the experts that i've spoken with say it is safe. wolf, you buy me a ticket and i'll board a dreamliner across the country. bill richardson just rern
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returned from north korea. with a new leader, is anything any different? my conversation with bill richardson when we come back. before copd... i took my son fishing every year. we had a great spot, not easy to find, but worth it. but with copd making it hard to breathe, i thought those days might be over. so my doctor prescribed symbicort. it helps significantly improve my lung function starting within five minutes. symbicort doesn't replace a rescue inhaler for sudden symptoms. with symbicort, today i'm breathing better. and that means...fish on! symbicort is for copd including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. it should not be taken more than twice a day. symbicort may increase your risk of lung infections,
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osteoporosis, and some eye problems. tell your doctor if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure before taking it. with copd, i thought i'd miss our family tradition. now symbicort significantly improves my lung function, starting within 5 minutes. and that makes a difference in my breathing. today, we're ready for whatever swims our way. ask your doctor about symbicort. i got my first prescription free. call or click to learn more. [ male announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help.
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lawyers for james holmes want a long delay before they have to enter a plea for the
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accused theater killing. lisa is monitoring that. lisa, what do you have? >> wolf, we have learned that the next hearing for holmes is likely to come on march 12th. his lawyer said they need more time to study evidence against holmes. he's charged with 166 counts. a father of one victim in aurora shouted out, quote, rot in hell, holmes. he later apologized to the court for his outburst. afghan president hamid karzai visited the white house today. if he and president obama were polite in public, the idea of leaving afghanistan with no american troops after the 2014 drawdown, earlier the president talked about his hope of a responsible end to this long war. >> our path is clear and we are moving forward. every day more afghans are stepping up and taking responsibility for their own
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security and as they do our troops will come home. next year this long war will come to a responsible end. >> house speaker john boehner has asked president obama to give the state of the union address on february 12th. the president could outline his priorities, including immigration reform, gun control, and tackling the federal debt. if the debt ceiling isn't raised, the country could run out of mondays after his speech. >> good morning. >> war makes early risers of us all. >> if you dream of a wedding, a high clear castle is the building featured in the popular "downtown abbey." this venue can can be available to you for up to 4 hundred guests. corporations can also rent out
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the castle. downtown abbey's third season debuted on sunday. i have never watched the show but i'm sure many of our viewers have. $24,000 and you can rent out that venue, wolf. >> up to 400 guests can show up. thank you. gun control advocates say there's a gaping hole in the system. we're taking a closer look at background checks for would-be gun buyers. do they work? should the system be expanded? stand by. and sounds vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward.
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troubleshooter for many years, pulling many americans out of hot spots. the former new mexico governor bill richardson is now back from north korea where another american is in trouble. after leaving north korea, where he was joined by the google chairman, richardson made a pitch for cooperation. >> we think that it's important that the united states and north korea start having some positive, bilateral negotiations, but we need dialogue, not confrontation on the peninsula. >> and bill richardson is joining us now in "the situation room." welcome back to the united states. >> thank you. >> what did you accomplish? >> three things. one, a very strong message of a free internet and morse cell phones. and the american that is detained there, that his trial
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is going to happen soon and that he's being well treated and we sent a strong message that north koreans don't get because we don't talk be to them and six-party countries don't have a dialogue and that is, one, stop any further missile, stop any further nuclear tests, a moratorium, especially on missile launches and enter into dialogue. enter into negotiation. don't isolate yourself. >> before you went over there, you said you hoped to have an opportunity to meet with the american citizen and maybe even bring him out. they wouldn't let you meet with him, be would they? >> he wouldn't. he was very far away, in the northern part of the state of the country. under local authorities. and they said to me that until his judicial proceedings start, they are not going to let me see him. now, the swedish ambassador has access to him and i was assured by vice minister ree, who you
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and i met with while we were there, that he is in good condition. i was allowed to provide a letter to his son. i had given it to the north koreans from his son in washington state. >> did you speak to the swedish ambassador? as the swedish ambassador actually met with him? >> yes, he has been given that access. >> did you get a chance to meet with anyone you previously hadn't met with in high levels of authority or or just the same cast of characters that you and i met with two years ago? >> we met a broader front of people. we met with the ministry three times, very intensive discussions but we met with some of their top scientists, top educators, we met with students, and i think the message of eric schmidt of google that we need a free internet, that that is good
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economically for the country, that we need more mobile technology, that the north koreans should not control the access to the internet so tightly, would be opened up. >> do you believe them? >> i think they will take minor steps first but i think it's going to happen. if you recall the internet with the arab spring, facebook, twitter, i think there's a possibility of not just improving their economy but their access to information which will make the north koreans thirst teaier for democracy. >> it would have been good if kim jong-un would have met with you. >> he only meets with heads of state. we weren't representing the u.s. government. we felt we would have a strong impact, a strong message, and i think we did. i think that any time you talk to the north koreans that are isolated, they are unpredictable. they don't hear bad news. when we told them that it was
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devastating what they did with their missile launches, it was devastating, this talk of a nuclear test, of not going into a dialogue with the west, one of the things that we saw the economy there is improving a little bit but all of the buildings, they are massively cold. there's no heating. >> we saw you walking around with winter coats inside. >> students go to school with their jackets because there's no heating. >> when i was there with you i saw the same thing. you've been severely criticized by john mccain. he was here in "the situation room" this week and i interviewed him after that tweet calling you and eric schmidt useful idiots, a term that they used to call americans who represented the communism during the stall lynn regime. >> do you think that the north koreans are going to take governor richardson and mr. schmidt to see one of those? i don't think so. and so what this does, it
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provides a propaganda kind of success for this four-star general saving americans coming to see us. finally, how many trips has bill richardson taken to north korea and what have been the results of it? >> he's pretty tough. he hated the fact you went there, that the north koreans could use you for propaganda purposes. >> let me tell you what i think i've been able to bring back. i've been able to bring back american soldiers, american hostages, the remains of seven of our warriors from the korean war. i don't know if senator mccain knows about that. i'm surprised at the personal nature of his comments. we weren't used for propaganda. is it propaganda for me and the head of google to be photographed with students expanding the internet to deliver these tough messages about the american detained there, about missile launches, about the free use of the
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internet? >> his concern is that you were being used for propaganda domestically. they could show these pictures of the former governor, head of google walking around in north korea and domestically that could be used to help that regime. >> no, not at all. if anything, the message of free internet was something that the north korean people very strongly supported. and the fact that americans are there talking about opening the internet and opening information. i think it's a very powerful message on our part. and, look, a lot of these north koreans have some kind of access to the outside world. when we say missile launches are not a good idea, when we say that we care about the american detained there, that's a powerful message. >> are you going to brief state department officials, white house officials, pentagon officials? they were not happy that you went there. >> we've sent a report. if they want to talk to me, i'm
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pleased pleased to brief them. you are here in washington. nobody has asked you to give an eyeball to eyeball report? >> i've sent a report in and if they want to talk to me, i'm pleased to talk to them. they were nervous about this trip, i know. but i've been going to north korea a long time and have had had substantial success and i think this trip was successful, mainly because of eric schmidt and google. forget the politics, forget foreign policy. the fact that we can talk about a free internet, free exchange of information, more mobile technology, there's a thirst around the world for this kind of technology and that's good because people are communicating with each other. >> let's see if they do anything about it. governor, thanks very much for coming in. it's one of the hot button issues out there, the gun debate. what to do about background checks for gun buyers? we're taking a closer look at
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vice president biden met with representatives of the video game industry as he
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continues to hear from all sides of the gun campaign to try to curb gun violence. he's promised to have proposals ready for the president by tuesday. one controversial issue, background checks for gun buyers. joe johns is here in the situation room. what are you finding out? >> to a lot of people, even gun owners, it just sounds like commonsense, requiring universal background checks, regulating every use of a gun or even trans aks over the internet. this does have the appeal of a simple solution but in reality it could be tough for federal regulators to pull off. in 2011, oscar made this video about guns and marijuana. >> it's not a coincidence that i look like jesus. i am the modern day jesus christ
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that you have been waiting for. >> weeks later he fired shots at the white house. law enforcement officials tell cnn orta hernandez bought the gun in a private sale in idaho. it's the kind of sale that requires no background check. >> it's really a gaping hole in our system that every day is allowing convicted felons, domestic abusers, dangerously mentally ill, god forbid terrorists on the no fly list, it allows them to buy guns every day in our country and we're paying for it with american lives. >> vice president biden's task force has been debating a potential solution. >> total universal background checks. >> so how does a background check? an employee and nra instructor at a gun store in virginia walks us through the process. >> decide which firearm you want
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to buy and fill out the federal form and the state form. >> on the federal form, there are a number of questions about the buyer's criminal background, drug use, mental health, and citizenship which could disqualify them from buying a gun. once it's filled out, the state check out the purchaser. >> and within seconds we get a response back from the computer whether the sale's been approved or not. probably about one out of every ten gets delayed for some reason or another. >> since the federal government started doing this, it has denied almost one million applications or about 1% of the total transactions since 1998. sheriff richard stanik, one of the law enforcement officials that met with vice president biden last month says that's part of the problem. >> there's a dirty little secret in terms of the background check itself. the database is overpopulated.
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they are overwhelmingly not accurate and that provides a problem. >> through the internet? that would be incredibly difficult to try and regulate. >> we just do not know how many gun sales go under the radar. gun control experts have been quoted as saying 40% of gun purchases don't get background checks but the feds said they couldn't venture a guess at what the real number is. and by the way, just because you get a background check doesn't guarantee anything. james holmes, the alleged aurora, colorado, shooter bought
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his through a private dealer. >> there's no background checks. >> no, no background check and it's actually against the law to transfer -- atf has a law that you can't do this but there's no way the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms can enforce that. they just don't have enough people. >> joe, thank you very much for that report. in florida, the rush is now on to purchase guns and obtain concealed weapons permits just in case. cnn's john zarrella has been looking into this part of the story for us. what's going on? >> when you talk about florida, florida has gun laws that are more friendly than in many states. you have concealed weapons permits, privacy laws, and of course the stand your ground law and all of this comes from a long history. mel englander has been a gun owner for years and he just bought himself this shotgun. >> this was the weapon that i
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was looking at getting for a while. >> a photographer, he just finished the required course to obtain a concealed license permit. >> i just wanted to be totally legal owe carrying the firearms. >> he's got plenty of company. florida is the first state to pass the one million mark in concealed weapons permit holders. as long as you are a law abiding citizen, the license is fairly easy to get. and in 2006, legislation passed protecting the identity of concealed weapons licensee. an example of why florida is considered one of the more gun friendly states, says attorney and gun law expert. >> i would have to say that florida is probably in the top five of states that are respectful of the second amendment. >> occasionally there is pushback, like now. a case can labeled docs versus
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glocks. it centers on a 2011 florida law banning doctors from asking patients questions about guns in their home. this doctor, a gun owner himself, is the lead plaintiff. >> so there's a gun safety, a public health safety, a public safety issue that has nothing to do with gun ownership. it's primarily a first amendment issue, our ability to ask questions. >> how do we know that that doctor is an expert in firearms or firearms safety. >> the state argued nothing in the act penalizes docs from asking about firearms but a miami federal jaw ruled the law unconstitutional. separately on a federal level, a provision in obama care bans doctors from documenting patient answers to questions about guns. but overall, gun owners enjoy a lot of leeway in florida. why? >> just our heritage and tradition, we were a rural state and the people here grew up
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using firearms for hunting and self-defense and that tradition is continued. >> but in the wake of sandy hook, gun shows are swamped. 8,000 people last saturday in orlando. concern that even here in florida the future for gun owners might not be quite so friendly. this weekend, a gun show in ft. lauderdale, next weekend in miami, and at both locations they expect huge, if not record crowds. wolf? >> john zarrella, thank you very much for that. could the shoddy work of a medical examiner's employee make it impossible to convict rape cases? you're getting a ton of shrimp, and it tastes really good! [ male announcer ] hurry in to red lobster's 30 shrimp for just $11.99! choose any two of five savory shrimp selections, like mango jalapeño shrimp and parmesan crunch shrimp.
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the new york medical examiner's office is now reviewing 800 rape cases going back a decade. and what investigators are finding is very disturbing. the possibility that one employee's incompetence could've paid the way for guilty suspects to go free. cnn's mary snowe is joining us with more on this disturbing story.
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what's going on, mary? >> you know, wolf, this revelation is being met with shock. the medical examiner's office says it discovered errors on its own through its own quality control testing, reported it and has been reviewing the cases. but it's raising questions about how one employee could be the reason for hundreds of cases to be reviewed. the new york city medical examiner's office known for its highly praised forensic technology is now in the midst of controversy. the m.e.'s office is reviewing rape cases after detecting mistakes made by a technician, surprising many who first read it in the "new york times." the m.e.'s office says so far that review has led them to discover biological evidence in 26 cases that was initially missed. the newly discovered dna evidence has already led to an indictment ten years after the crime. sonia osaria of the national organization for women says it's the crime victims who pay the price. >> ten years is a long time to
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live not getting any justice. especially in the face of the fact that there was evidence there at the scene. and if it would have been done right, there would have been justice much sooner. >> reporter: in these letters to a forensic oversight body, the medical examiner's office said a red flag was raised in 2009 when a long-time employee made mistakes during her dna analyst training program. the employee was moved to a lower level job and left in 2011. it was that year that the review of cases began. the m.e.'s office declined our request for an interview, but a spokeswoman stressed that the cases where evidence has been discovered were false negatives, meaning that no one was wrongly convicted. but one city official has many questions. >> it would be unacceptable if one dna case was mishandled.
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but 800 plus cases of dna around rape and sexual assault, how does that happen? >> former new york city prosecutor and cnn legal contributor paul callan says credibility is at stake. >> dna evidence has become the gold standard in the criminal justice system because of csi, "law and order," jurors come into court saying, hey, if there's dna evidence showing the guy did it, then he must be guilty. this destroys the gold standard. >> and new york city's council says it plans to hold an emergency hearing later this month to find out exactly what went wrong and what steps must be taken to make sure it doesn't happen again. that was spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office says so far the office has reviewed roughly 400 of the 800 plus cases it's examining. >> how long has this employee worked there, mary? >> yeah, you know, she remains unidentified.
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and she worked there from 2001 into 2011. now, here's the question. the red flags were raised in 2009. and she was demoted, but she continued to work there for two more years. a spokeswoman for the m.e. says she was closely supervised during those last two years. but a total of 800 cases now are being examined and questions are still unanswered about why that certain employee was still th e there. if potentially she is putting cases under review. >> mary snow, thanks very much. very, very disturbing report. we've invited a key member of the centers for disease control into the "situation room" to answer your questions that you sent us about the flu. standby for that. of warning ligs and sounds vying for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat.
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here's a look at this hour's hot shots. a man walks by a giant i love malaysia billboard in a busy district. in germany, cars are covered in fresh snow. in berlin, in india, girls dressed as folk dancers, they fly kites at their school. and look at this in england,
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rare and exotic butterflies sit on a worker's hand in a butterfly garden. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. the nation's capital features prominently some of the biggest oscar-nominated films. lincoln, "argo," "zero dark thirty." is that how washington really works? our pentagon correspondent chris lawrence is here. what do you see? >> who would've thought that the beltway would translate so well to the box office. but if you come out of these movies thinking you've seen the real washington, think again. >> reporter: maybe they ran out of superheroes or aliens weren't available. >> there are only bad options, it's about finding the best one. >> hollywood is turning to government analysts so anchor its hit films. >> this is joseph bradley, our station chief. >> nice to meet you. >> you too, sir. >> former cia officers admit the agency's virginia headquarters isn't exactly a tourist
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destination. >> most of what the american people think they know about the cia comes from hollywood. >> what do moviegoers take away from "zero dark thirty"? >> i thought it was an accurate portrayal. >> ouch, say those who worked at the agency. >> this isn't the life i lived. >> reporter: he spent 20 years at the cia. he says don't sign up to g galavant around the world. >> if you want to spend 99% of your time building a case, understanding a problem, that 1%, though, at the end of the game is pretty -- is pretty much like what you might see in the movies. that's exciting. >> reporter: and it's not just spies. america's 16th president has been around for years, but hollywood spotlight on lincoln's political life could mean gold come oscar time. >> you are more reptile than man, george. so low and flat that the foot of man's incapable of crushing you. >> how dare you. >> critics and movie goers
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cheered the insults, lies, and vote trading that went into passing the 13th amendment. >> i will not yield for the gentleman and the gentleman will observe regular order. >> but the good will doesn't translate to today's politicians. can you believe telemarketers now have higher approval ratings than congress? >> no you can't! >> sorry, mr. speaker, it's true. >> in fact, maybe the one entity that's not quite a fan of the d.c. focus in hollywood is iran. tehran is making their own version of ben affleck's "argo," took issue with the diplomats that got out during the revolution. so now they're making their own version. >> not surprised. >> thanks very much. >> sure. happening now, warning signs that could save your child's life as the flu epidemic spreads. the vice president says there's no silver bullet to end gun violence. yes, those were his words. the president reveals a speedier
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transition for u.s. troops withdrawing from afghanistan. a pathologist accused of mistakes that convicted the wrong man. and one town ruined by superstorm sandy has a gutsy plan to rebuild 15 feet off the ground. also, the treasury nominee's loopy signature is a late night joke bonanza. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the "situation room." right now, more americans are coming down with the flu. and some, especially children, may be in danger of dying from it. the centers for disease control and prevention now says 47 states, nearly the entire country had widespread flu activity last week. the epidemic may be easing a bit in some areas. the number of states reporting a very severe outbreak is down slhtly, particularly in the southeast. more children have died from the flu, at least 20 so far. parents across the nation are
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scrambling to try to protect their kids. our senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen is in texas, one of the hardest hit states. >> reporter: wolf, kids are especially vulnerable to the flu. and parents need to be really vigilant. i spent the day yesterday with one mom who got her son help in the nick of time. >> reporter: darius is so sick with the flu, he's in the hospital. he could've died if not for the quick thinking of his mother. she was keeping a close eye on her son at home. he didn't seem all that sick, then suddenly wednesday night -- >> he couldn't hard breathe. he was, you know, gasping for, you know, breath and that was real scary because i thought he was going to pass out at any minute. >> she immediately brought her 7-year-old son to the emergency room. by the time they got there, darius was incoherent. >> how did you feel in your heart when your own son didn't know who you are? >> you don't want to think the worst, but as a parent, you
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can't help it, you know. >> the flu had struck darius hard. his asthma making it even worse. doctors had to give him oxygen. he's recovering here at cook children's hospital in ft. worth, texas. so before i go in, i have to put on a gown and gloves and this mask because kids with the flu are so contagious, i don't want to get the flu and i don't want to spread it around. >> can i listen to you? >> his wheezing is much better, and he's breezing nice and evenly. >> pediatric infectious disease expert says darius will go home soon thanks to his mom's vigilan vigilance. he says looking for red flags can save your child's life. difficulty breathing, getting better and sick again, a sign that a second infection is setting in again and refusing to drink. and a red flag she noticed, extreme fatigue. >> sick kids are usually lethargic.
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>> yeah, for a while, and usually they'll perk back up. >> if there's no perking up. >> if there's no perking up, that's a problem. >> kids with the flu can get very sick very fast. when in doubt, get your child to a doctor. >> imagine if you hadn't brought him in. >> that's what i don't want to think about. i'm glad i did follow that mom instinct and bring him in right away. you know, that may have saved his life. >> reporter: wolf, in the past week, this children's hospital has had more than 400 confirmed cases of the flu. and that's just one hospital in one week. the flu is still out there, and it's not too late to get your child the flu shot so they won't end up in the hospital to begin with. wolf? >> elizabeth, thank you. let's go to a place now where children are being exposed to the flu. mostly every single day, brian todd is looking at the risk inside america's schools. >> wolf, we all know by now that schools are some of the most dangerous transmission sites for
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the flu. what are the most common ways it spreads? to find out some of that, we came here to the elementary school in upper marlboro, maryland. cynthia norris knows she's got to get creative. she's got to keep a nationwide flu outbreak from slamming into her school. and with this small group of kids, ages 6 to 11, it's the visual that counts. she spreads glitter on her desk. >> and i'm going to put my hands in it. and that represents the germs, the germs we don't see. if i come and touch you, this glitter being the germs will be what i would pass on to you and you could potentially get sick, okay. now, my phone rings, i pick up the phone, now after i put it down, look at that. what does that represent? >> germs. >> germs. >> reporter: as the registered nurse at the elementary school in maryland, norris is like a field commander against the flu. her other tactics, coloring
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sheets with cleanliness pledges to sign, demos on hand washing, sanitizer dispensers all over the place. >> what do you think of this? does it help you? >> yes, because like when you clean your hands, you make sure it's clean and you don't get a lot of germs. >> do you find a lot of this hard to remember to try to prevent the flu? >> no. >> wisconsin is in the region of the country that the centers for disease control says has been among the hardest hit. one out of every five students there has had to stay home with flu-like symptoms. >> we're working hard to try to find kids that maybe have symptoms that are in the district and having our nurse checking those kids out. sending those kids home if need be. >> cynthia norris says the most common ways flu spreads in schools, kids touching each other with droplets from sneezing or sniffling on their hands. sharing of food and other items, and just close proximity to others. but mistakes are made by parents too. >> do a lot of parents who may
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have a kid on the borderline or whatever, do they err on the side of sending them to school many times? >> they do. they do. i told my mom i wasn't feeling good. a lot of times their just not keeping them home that 24-hour period after they have a fever. >> reporter: a mistake also made, norris says by many teachers who don't stay home when they're sick. >> now, as bad as this outbreak has been, in some districts around the united states, health officials say they may have caught a break. just before the schools broke for the holidays, they noticed more widespread flu-like symptoms, and since the kids have come back from vacation in some cases including here, they've noticed fewer flu-like symptoms. so in some cases, at least, the holidays may have given them a break, kept kids away from each other and kept the flu from spreading. >> thank you. a flu expert from the centers of disease control and prevention will join us this hour to answer
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your questions about the epidemic, how you can stay healthy. standby for that. now to president obama and his moves to try to end the war in afghanistan once and for all for the united states. he met with the afghan president hamid karzai at the white house today and revealed a slightly different timetable for the exit strategy. let's bring in our white house correspondent brianna keilar. give us the headlines from today's meeting. >> well, wolf, it is just that, president obama announced that the u.s. troops in afghanistan handling security will be handing over control to afghan troops in a america accelerated manner. this was to happen some time later in the year, maybe summer being the soonest and now it's happening a few months early. come spring, afghan troops will be in charge of protecting afghan civilians and the country's border. >> that doesn't mean that coalition forces including u.s. forces are no longer fighting. they will still be fighting
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alongside afghan troops. it does mean, though, that afghans will have taken the lead and our presence, the nature of our work will be different. we will be in a training, assisting, advising role. >> at a press conference in the east room of the white house, afghan president hamid karzai said he and president obama made progress on several key sticking points on a deal to keep some u.s. troops in his country beyond next year. karzai said president obama agreed to hand over remaining afghan detainees. and in the clearest indication that some u.s. troops will remain after the end of combat in 2014, the afghan president said he's amenable to the u.s. demand that american troops not be subject to afghan courts and laws. >> i can go to the afghan people and argue for immunity for u.s. troops in afghanistan in a way that afghan sovereignty will not be compromised, in a way that
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afghan law will not be compromised. >> reporter: white house officials have considered keeping up to 9,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan after nato's mission ends in 2014. karzai's morning at the white house follows visits thursday with defense secretary leon panetta and secretary of state hillary clinton. the cordial nature of his trip belied the tense relationship the two countries have had in recent years. and some observers are calling it a success. >> a lot of experienced u.s. diplomats and military leaders have said president karzai has perhaps been the most difficult foreign leader to deal with in a generation. >> president karzai was supposed to come with a list of complaints. what i saw was him going away with an understanding of what he and his government need to do in order to have a continued u.s. presence in afghanistan. >> just how many u.s. troops will remain in afghanistan beyond 2014? that still is the question unanswered, president obama says, wolf, that he's aiming to
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have a bilateral agreement with afghanistan by the end of this year to figure that out. >> i understand another key member of the president's white house staff is now leaving a week after the president has been under scrutiny, supposedly, for a lack of diversity on his -- in his cabinet, in his inner circle. what's going on? >> that's right. we've learned that she's one of three deputy chiefs of staff to president obama. one of two female deputy chiefs of staff and obviously a key female adviser to the president. she is leaving the white house, wolf, to go to the brookings institution, a think tank here in d.c. that confirmed to us by brookings. so she will be leaving and it does come amid criticism or certainly questions that the questions of president obama because he has been losing some key women in his cabinet, including, of course, secretary of state hillary clinton. we just learned that hilda solis
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is leaving. he's made a number of personnel appointments to the state department, the cia, the defense department, all of whom, wolf, are white men. so questions about women and diversity. >> don't forget the treasury department. >> and treasury department, of course. >> thanks very much for that. brianna keilar's our white house correspondent. the white house is also bracing for a battle with congress over vice president joe biden's proposals to fight gun violence. and did a man who performed thousands and thousands of autopsies tell prosecutors what they wanted to hear? and a flu expert from the cdc is standing by to answer your questions about the epidemic that's now sweeping the country. at 1:45, the aflac duck was brought in
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with multiple lacerations to the wing and a fractured beak. surgery was successful, but he will be in a cast until it is fully healed, possibly several months. so, if the duck isn't able to work, how will he pay for his living expenses? aflac. like his rent and car payments? aflac. what about gas and groceries? aflac. cell phone? aflac, but i doubt he'll be using his phone for quite a while cause like i said, he has a fractured beak. [ male announcer ] send the aflac duck a get-well card at getwellduck.com.
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today vice president biden brought video game makers into the discussion about gun violence and how to prevent it. he's warning there's no easy answer to the problem, but chose a surprising way of saying it. let's bring in jim acosta who is looking at the story. >> that's right, wolf, vice president joe biden says there's no one solution for stopping mass shootings, but clear the proposals coming out of his task force will be running head on into the nra. >> we know that it is -- there is no silver bullet. >> reporter: with vice president joe biden's task force closing in on recommendations for new gun control laws, the focus is starting to turn to what if anything could get through congress. but on an iowa public tv show, the state's republican senator charles grassley sounded open to two of biden's likely proposals. restricting high-capacity gun magazines and tightening background checks. >> i also think, though, that we do have to do things to make
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sure the data base of the fbi has all the information so people can't buy guns that shouldn't have guns. >> the vice president laid out some of the ideas emerging from his task force thursday, but he did not mention a new assault weapons ban, stirring speculation. the white house says that's not so. an administration spokesman told cnn avoiding this issue because it's been politically difficult in the past is not an option. that's despite what will be fierce opposition from the nation's top gun lobby, the national rifle association. >> i do not think that there's going to be a ban on so-called assault weapons passed by the congress. >> reporter: the nra can simply point to what happened in 1994 when president bill clinton assigned the last assault weapons ban into law. democrats lost control of both houses of congress to republicans. >> he's become the only republican candidate in indiana with an "f" rating from the nra. >> reporter: last year the nra proved it was willing to go against the gop, as well.
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dick lugar lost a primary battle to a more conservative challenger. >> are democrats as nervous about the nra as they used to be? >> no, they're not. >> chris van hollen says voters are eager for new gun control laws after newtown. >> if you look at the new contested congressional races around the country, they're in the suburbs. and in suburban areas, i think the weight of public opinion is on the side of common sense gun safety. >> after biden spent days meeting with interest groups, the latest being video game makers, the vi president doesn't seem to be in the mood to take on the entertainment industry. >> there's no measure i'm aware of to be able to determine whether or not there's a coarsing of our culture in a way that is not healthy. >> but democrats say it's up to the white house to make the case. that's why they expect the president to put a heavy emphasis on gun control in his upcoming state of the union
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speech next month. >> february 12th, the state of the union. the vice president will make his recommendations next tuesday to the president, but we may have to wait until the state of the union to get the results, is that what you're hearing? >> i think we're going to get the results and the recommendations before the state of the union speech. we're starting to hear some of those now, we talked about that in the piece, the high-capacity gun magazines, background checks, universal background checks and a proposal for an assault weapons ban. interesting to know what vice president biden was saying at the very end of that piece. he was asked during this availability whether or not coarsening of the culture had something to do with violence out there. he said there's no measure out there to prove that. it's an indication they're not going after hollywood, they're going after the issue of guns and whether or not those -- those laws should be curtailed somewhat. >> the vice president's been spending a lot of time on this issue. thanks very much. >> yeah. "star wars" fans, heads up, you'll be interested in our round-up of some of the day's top stories. plus, a flu expert standing by
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to join us live with answers to your questions about the flu epidemic sweeping the country. and thousands of autopsies performed by one man in mississippi, they are now under investigation. >> i saw that dr. hane could tell there were two hands on the trigger that fired the shot that killed the victim. and i said that just doesn't make sense.
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syrian rebels are claiming a major military victory. some of the day's other top stories. >> all right, wolf, an opposition group have said the rebels captured a base in the northern part of the country seizing weapons, hardware, and ammunition. the assad regime allegedly used the base to launch attacks on rebel positions. this amateur video purports to show smoke rising from the base, but cnn cannot independently confirm the authenticity or rebel claims. and the faa has opened an investigation into the 787 dream liner. the move follows a series of mishap, including a fire at a gate and a fuel leak at another.
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they will look at the dream liner's design, manufacture, and assembly. and the district of columbia police won't bring critical charges against nbc or david gregory because he displayed a magazine capable of holding up to 30 rounds of ammunition on "meet the press." the december broadcast originated here in the district. police say it was a very close decision, but since gregory has no criminal record, he won't be charged. and a live action "star wars" tv series, well, abc says it's looking into it because disney bought lucas films for $4 billion. turns out lucas film actually started work on a "star wars" series years ago and dozens of scripts were written, but they were shelved. he's not sure if the project is still viable but plans to discuss it further with lucas film. and imagine a child looking out from a hospital room and seeing this.
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spider-man washing the windows. the costume cleaner delighted all the paretients for several hours, but unlike the super hero, he scaled the building using ropes instead of webs. and you've got to believe these kids will love that, looking out the window, not a sight you see every day. kudos to him for doing that. puts a smile on the kids' faces. i'm delighted by that. >> put a smile on my face. >> me too. i can't stop smiling. one of our viewers wants to know if the current flu outbreak is really deadlier than those in the past. i'm going to ask an expert from the cdc that question and more. standby. and disturbing questions about autopsies performed by a very busy pathologist and whether innocent people went to jail. >> if you died in mississippi of any sort of suspicious circumstances, chances are he was going to be cutting you open.
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happening now, a flu expert answers your questions about the epidemic and whether you should get vaccinated even at this late moment right now. did a man who performed thousands and thousands of autopsies help put innocent people behind bars? and the surprising invasion of the squids. i'm wolf blitzer, you're in the "situation room." it's the worst flu season in years, people across the united states are suffering and health officials admit they have no way of knowing how bad it will get. we do know as of last week, the outbreak was widespread in every state in the united states
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except california, hawaii, and mississippi. and that in parts of the southeast, the flu isn't as severe as it had been. we're now joined by dr. joseph brizi at the centers for disease control and prevention. doctor, thanks very much for coming in. >> my pleasure. >> we asked our viewers on twitter to go ahead and ask us specific questions. we've got a whole bunch of questions. let's get right to them. this from jeff on twitter. he asked this. why should we actually be worried? isn't this just another flu season? maybe a little worse, but not worth panic. go ahead, doctor. >> well, we don't know how severe or how long the flu season's going to be. but we know flu seasons can be severe. even in a mild year, we get tens of thousands of hospitalizations. in a severe year, we get tens of thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations. so flu is a severe disease. and so i don't know whether this year is going to be more severe or less severe than the average
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flu year yet, but i know that flu is a disease worth of taking note of and getting vaccinated to prevent. >> we don't know how deadly this season is going to be? >> we won't know quite yet. at the end of the season, we look back and tell to be honest. >> what is this shaping up, though? >> looks like we're in the thick of the flu season. seeing intense flu disease in all of the states of the nation right now. the good news is, we have a vaccine that works against it and it is not too late to get vaccinated if you haven't already. >> here's another question from mary on facebook. with every corner drugstore having flu vaccine available, why is this season so bad? >> well, it's so bad for a variety of reasons. some of which we know and some of which we don't. part of the severity of a flu season depends on what strain circulates. part depends on how many get vaccinated. we have had a lot more in the last few years, but fewer than half of americans get vaccinated each year.
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we'd like to change that. >> this is 60% effective, does that mean 40% of the folks that get the vaccine will not have benefit from it? >> it's not that they won't have any benefit, but they may get the flu. what this means is that, again, a disease in which hospitalizes hundreds of thousands of people. if you get it, you're 60% less likely to get sick from flu and therefore suffer the consequences. >> if you get the vaccine, are you more likely to have less severe symptoms, shall we say? >> you might be. we hope that's true. there's very little data to support that, but it certainly makes sense. >> here's another question, we got this from dana weinstein. let me play the clip about parents who are worried about the downsides potentially for their young kids. >> okay. >> for me, i'm just always nervous about putting things into our children's bodies. they're so young and still developing, but, you know, the fear of autism and other things
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like that that i know there's reports back and forth on. if it's connected or not connected. but because there's nothing definitive, it just makes me nervous, but i really thought about it and between the odds of her having a bad reaction versus catching the flu, i felt like the flu and having her down and out and possibly risking her health or her life wasn't worth it. >> all right. what do you say to someone like dana? >> i think we hear that a lot as pediatricians. and i'll say that flu vaccines whether it's the injection or the nasal spray are very, very safe vaccines. hundreds of millions of doses are given each year and we've given it for 70 years. we know a lot about the safety of these vaccines and they're safe. if you get an injection, you'll get a sore arm for a couple of days. but severe reactions are very, very rare with either of the vaccin vaccines. >> and you say children over 6 months old should get the
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vaccine. what if a child is 5 months old in day care? >> yes, too bad, the vaccines are only licensed for kids over 6 months old. and for kids, once they're born until they're 6 months old, they can't get a vaccine. you have two options. one is to vaccinate the mom when she's pregnant. that will confer some protection to the kid and protect the mom who is also high risk. the other option is to vaccinate everybody else in the family and so that keeps you from bringing flu into the household to give to the child. >> i can't tell you how many adults, though, think they're going to get sick from the actual flu vaccine. and you say that's not going to happen? >> just not true. the flu vaccines have killed viruses or proteins of the virus, not even the whole virus, and so the flu vaccine can't give you the flu. >> here's another question from tim on twitter. do vaccines strengthen our weaken our immune system? >> well, they strengthen it in the sense that it strengthens it against getting a flu infection.
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i don't know it has any other effect, but it certainly strengthens it when you get the flu. >> i've heard this strain is invulnerable to the current flu shots. is this true? should we get shots? obviously you know the answer to that one. >> it's a good question. and it's a question every year. this year, it looks like the strains that are circulating in the united states are susceptible to the vavaccine. so we did a good job of finding strains to look very much like the strains circulating now. >> a lot of people have asked if it's dangerous to fly right now, is it more dangerous -- you get the flu in an airplane cabin, for example, what do you say to that? >> i think there are lots of places people are crowded together that spread germs. airplanes are one of them. but go in the grocery store, an elevator, schoolhouse, all places where you come in contact with sick people. i don't know being on an airplane is terribly more dangerous than other ways to get
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the flu infection. >> you know, we had a story here in the situation room, a very sad story yesterday, very healthy young man, 17 years old, came down with the flu and he eventually died from complications. how extraordinary is this? >> it's extraordinary, but it's not rare, i would say. i think it's -- we hear about these sad cases all the time where people don't have known risk factors, they're not elderly, not very young, they don't have heard disease, et cetera. but they still can get very sick, hospitalized, or even die from the flu. we see it every year, both in children and adults. >> a lot of people asked us on twitter and elsewhere, when they should go to the hospital, how bad should it be before they call the doctor and say i've got to go to the emergency room? >> i think a lot of it depends on the person. but clearly if you feel sick enough to go to the doctor, go to the doctor. clearly if you have trouble breathing, go to the doctor. if you have trouble drinking, you think you're getting dehydrat dehydrated or your child does,
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go to the doctor at that point. most people will recover after a few days of feeling miserable. but if you have any of the danger signals, call your doctor or go there to be seen. >> they want to know what medicine should you take? >> there's a couple of medicines that are licensed and recommended for use in flu. one's called tamiflu and one's called zanamamir. both are effective in preventing complications if you do get the flu. >> anything you should avoid taking? >> you should avoid taking aspirin if you're a child. back in the '80s, it was clear that aspirin use and flu didn't mix well and caused a disease, we don't see that much anymore because we don't give aspirin to kids anymore. >> is there ever going to be a day when we actually cure the flu? >> well, we certainly treat it well. flu's a tough -- all the time, so we have to keep changing the vaccines to keep up with them. and because they change all the time, there's a risk that
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they'll begin to evade the medicines we use now. we hope that won't happen, but flu's a tricky virus. >> dr. joseph bresee, you've been extremely helpful with your answers, doctor, thanks very much for joining us. >> it's my pleasure. authorities in mississippi are examining an alarming number of court cases. allegations bad autopsies may have put innocent people in prison. >> we're going to have to go back. and we're going to have to examine just about every case. that he had in contact with. and we're in the process of doing that thankfully here in mississippi now. >> ballpark, how many cases? >> thousands? [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work.
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in mississippi, crimes and court cases long thought to be solved and settled are getting a fresh look. and prisoners including death row inmates could be set free. it's all because of questions about a doctor whose work load and tactics have become the focus of intense criticism. cnn's victor blackwell has been looking into this disturbing story. >> wolf, attorneys have been looking into dr. steven haynes'
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autopsies for years, but it's a lawsuit he filed recently that is bringing so many new details to light. >> if you died in mississippi of any sort of suspicious circumstances, chances are he was going to be cutting you open. >> that's a former public defender talking about dr. steven hain a pathologist who claims to have conducted tens of thousands of autopsies. >> how many would you say you've done an average year late '80s to probably a few years ago? >> somewhere in the range of 1,400, 1,500. >> that's five to six times what's recommended by the national association of medical examiners. for the first time on television, hain is responding to claims that an oversized work load and questionable tactics may have led to the conviction of many innocent people. for decades in mississippi, there's seldom been a state medical examiner. he has never been certified by
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the board of american pathologists as a forensic pathologist. >> he was a prosecutor's best friend. law enforcement would go to dr. hain with their investigation pretty much complete. they would tell him what they suspected had happened. and nine times out of ten, probably 95 out of 100, they would get the result they were looking for. >> i'm not a friend of -- of law enforcement if a crime has been committed. i'm not -- i don't support a d.a. if he wants to charge a person with a crime and i don't think a crime was committed. >> reporter: one high-profile case they often cite is that of tyler edmonds. he confessed to pulling a trigger of a gun with his older sister to kill her husband. he later recanted that confession. edmonds was tried as an adult and hayne testified as an expert witness for the state. edmonds was sentenced to life in prison. three years later, the
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conviction was overturned and edmonds is now a free man. then supreme court justice diaz wrote a scathing opinion. >> i saw that dr. hayne testified he could tell by the bullet wounds on the victim that there were two hands on the trigger that fired the shot that killed the victim. and i said that doesn't make sense. >> all i could say there were two people involved in the shooting, i couldn't exclude only one person did the shot. it was not a definitive statement. >> in 2008, hayne was removed from the list of state-approved pathologists. recently, the mississippi innocence project has asked the state supreme court to review four separate murder cases in which hayne was the pathologist and expects to file ten additional requests, some of them death penalty cases. >> we're going to have to go back and we're going to have to examine just about every case that he had any contact with. and we're in the process of doing that, thankfully, here in mississippi now. >> ballpark, how many cases?
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>> thousands. thousands. >> reporter: he sued attorneys for the innocence project for defamation, libel, and slander, a case that led to a monetary settlement. but information gathered in that case was also used in the petition seeking reviews of other mississippi murder cases. when asked tough questions about his tens of thousands of autopsies, hayne has a simple answer. >> and we reached out to the office of mississippi attorney general jim hood and his people sent us this statement. our office would say this is not and has never been a matter of defending dr. hayne. if fraudulent testimony is found to have been given either by a witness for the state or for the defense in any criminal case, this office will investigate and prosecute if warranted. our office has the singular responsibility to not only ensure that the guilty are punished, but that the innocent are set free. as for improving the process regarding medical examiners, this office formed a task force that recommended a complete
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revamping of the system and full dna testing. and there is now a state medical examiner in mississippi. wolf? >> victor, thanks very much. excellent work. good reporting. frustrated, but determined, a town nearly wiped out by hurricane sandy has a bold plan to rebuild. ship horn blows ] no, no, no! stop! humans. one day we're coming up with the theory of relativity, the next... not so much. but that's okay -- you're covered with great ideas like optional better car replacement from liberty mutual insurance. total your car and we give you the money to buy one a model year newer. learn about it at libertymutual.com. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy?
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new jersey governor chris christie says 41,000 families in his state are still displaced. almost three months after superstorm sandy. poppy harlow found some of them in the town of seabright and they're fed up with waiting for help. >> reporter: hi there, wolf, well, this is seabright, new jersey, known as a small picturesque coastal town. but sandy completely wiped out 100% of the businesses here and 75% of the homes were either destroyed or severely damaged. >> devastated us to be honest with you. we don't live here anymore, we don't operate a business anymore. >> reporter: both his business and his home destroyed. that's what superstorm sandy took from scott kelly and many folks here in sea bright. >> this is the area where most of the damage came through, the water was probably about 3 feet
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inside the house. >> reporter: ocean avenue still shuttered months after the storm. this is how vulnerability sea bright is sandwiched between ocean and river. >> this is my street. >> reporter: and this is the woman fighting to rebuild. dina long, don't let the pink sneakers fool you, sea bright's mayor is as tough as they come. >> i have reached a point where i am like governor chris christie, in that i am ready to kick butt and take names. this used to be my living room. >> she too is one of the displaced, her home ravaged by sandy. her plan is gutsy. >> you want to elevate all of downtown sea bright? >> i do. >> really? >> that is a sea bright that's built to last. >> reporter: the houses would look like this one, which would cost $250,000 to raise. she wants fema to pay for it. if not, they'll look to private investors, but not elevating is
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nongauc nonnegotiab nonnegotiable. >> 15 feet high? >> if i stay where i am, my flood insurance could go up 600% in the next five years. >> we're waiting for the help that's been promised to show up. >> who are you asking? >> i've been asking the state of new jersey, i've been asking fema, and we are waiting. >> so far, sea bright has received about $78,000 in public assistance from fema. no state funds as of yet and how federal relief dollars will be allocated is unclear. >> very often the answer i get is this, meaning ask him, ask him, this department knows, call the federal government, call the state government, call the county government. >> as a state, i've waited 72 days, seven times longer than the victims of hurricane katrina waited. >> scott kelly is more than a million in the hole between his home and his restaurant, but he's not banking on federal aid. >> we opened a business with insurance policies, we opened -- we had our home with insurance
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policies, in case anything ever happened like this, we'd be covered. and in the long run, you're not, you've got to play the game. and that's the part that hurts the most. >> he and mayor long are tired of people questioning if sea bright should even rebuild. >> it is possible to build smart. it is possible to mitigate risk from flood water. it is possible to build hurricane proof. look at florida. >> just last week, congress approved $9.7 billion in federal sandy aid after partisan bickering delayed the vote. next week, congress will take up a measure for $51 billion in additional sandy aid. we may see more political in fighting around that while towns like sea bright wait. wolf? >> poppy harlow, thanks very much. that infighting, that political infighting could be intense still. we'll watch it. president obama's nominee to be the next treasury secretary is giving some late night comics new material. even the president joked about
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jack lew's loopy signature saying he better make it more readable before it's printed on u.s. dollar bills. listen to what some of the professional comics are saying. >> that's your signature? or are you just testing to see if the pen works? hey, lew, here's a tip, stop signing all your checks on the teacup ride at disney world. the only way you're allowed to have that as your signature is if your name is boyoyoyong. >> he worked at hostess as a cupcake icer, and now he's -- it's good. it's about time our bills look like they were signed by a roomba. >> our bills should have nothing ridiculous on it, just old men in wigs and pyramids with eyes. is this even a signature? or did he start drawing charlie
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brown and give up after the hair? good grief. and it got no better when lew explained his fiscal philosophy saying, quote, i described budgets as tapestry, when it's woven together our picture amounts to the hopes and dreams of a nation. >> that is so funny. let's check in with erin burnett, coming up at the top of the hour. i guess you're going in-depth on that signature, erin? >> i think that signature is -- i don't know, it's sort of reminiscent of a teenage girl's signature and there's nothing wrong with that, wolf. we're also going to be talking about afghanistan, the president came out and said it's going to be months before we get a decision on troops. we've been looking at this over the past two months, all the time lines keep getting delayed and delayed and delayed and we need answers as to why. also tonight, joined by tom teeves, his son was murdered in the aurora movie theater
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shooting this summer. he said james holmes is ready to stand trial and there's no doubt that he is not insane. we're going to talk about that plus we'll be joined by jeffrey dahmer's attorney. all that coming up at the top of the hour. back to you. >> thank you. off the coast of california, this is the year of the squid. the fishing frenzy. standby. >> there we go. [ woman ] uh-oh.
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[ male announcer ] when diarrhea hits, kaopectate stops it fast. powerful liquid relief speeds to the source. fast! [ male announcer ] stop the uh-oh fast with kaopectate. here's a look at this hour's hot shots. muslim devotees cook at the world congregation. in london, a contestants picks at an ice sculpture. in hungary, circus dancers ride camels and an elephant during a rehearsal for a show. and in japan, look at this, a leopard print lamborghini displayed. hot shots, pictures coming in from around the world. you may not be aware that there's an invasion going on off the coast of california right now, but an elusive creature of the sea. that's what's going on.
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cnn's miguel marquez is joining us now on the hunt for a flying squid. miguel, what's going on? >> this is a very rare event that we saw. and i did go hunting for squid. and you can bet your bottom dollar that miguel marquez always gets his squid. >> nice one, dude. >> reporter: it's a southern california squid frenzy. every night fishing boats packed to the gills set off to hunt for 2 to 3-foot long sometimes bigger squid. the sea here off dana point thick with krill, squid food, they make a fine squid steak, they are bizarre shooting ink in water as they fight to stay in the sea. >> yeah. >> when out of the water, they change colors, sometimes like a traffic light. >> this is what the squid hunters have come after, look at that. there's the eye there, their
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teeth are right in here. they change colors amazingly. somebody grabbed ahold of this one and you can see a perfect hand print on that squid right there. >> makes its home from alaska to south america. it is rare, very rare to have so many squid off the coast here for so long offering such great fishing or squidding. the captain of the some fun knows these waters well. tonight he's the only guy who knows precisely where the squid are. boats from miles around hover hoping for a squid bonanza. >> this is a traffic jam in the middle of nowhere. >> exactly. i tried to move the boat forward to give room, i couldn't, there's too many boats in front. it's awesome. >> reporter: 2013 is shaping up to be the year of the squid, a giant squid, distant cousin of the humbolt was seen for the first time in the natural